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Southern RhôneNicked label
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$350.00 per Bottle
"Deeper and richer, the 2010 Chôteauneuf du Pape Deus ex Machina has been nothing short of perfection on the 3-4 times I've been lucky enough to try it. Muscular and powerful, with a serious, full-bodied profile, it gives up incredible aromas and flavors of crème de cassis, licorice, graphite, beef blood and loamy earth. Like most 2010s at this stage, it's backwards and dense, and needs to be forgotten for another couple of years. This beauty will have 2-3 decades of overall longevity.
Since taking control of the estate in 2002, and bringing on board rock-star consultant Philippe Cambie, the Maurel brothers have been knocking it out of the park in literally every vintage. 2004? Gorgeous wines and easily at the top in a recent retrospective. The cooler, rainy 2008? Beautiful ripeness and texture, and again, at the top of the hierarchy. 2011 is the same story, and it's amazing what this team has accomplished in all of their vintages. Looking at this retrospective, we went through all of their cuvées going back to 2003. Unfortunately, there's no new information here, and this tasting simply confirmed what myself and Robert Parker have been saying for some time now: Clos Saint Jean is at the top of their game and producing some of the most singular, hedonistic and brilliant wines in the world. Starting out with the classic Châteauneuf du Pape, it's normally a blend of 75% Grenache, with the balance a mix of Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Muscardin and Vaccarese. As is common at this estate, the Grenache is aged all in tank, and the other varieties in a mix of tank and barrels. While I think this cuvée always lags the Vieilles Vignes bottling, it is consistently outstanding and always a super value. Moving to the old vine cuvée, this is made especially for the U.S. Market and is 85% tank-aged, old vine Grenache, and the balance Syrah and Mourvèdre. It too almost always represents a crazy value and has a broad drink window. I'm currently finishing up a case of the -08, and purchased two cases of the 2010, which is just starting to open back up after closing down shortly after release. Moving to the Combe des Fous release, this cuvée comes from a single plot of vines and is based largely on Grenache, with roughly 20% Syrah and 10% each of Vaccarese and Cinsault in the blend. The Grenache is aged all in tank and the other components see time in mostly demi-muids. While the Deux ex Machina always impresses more with its overt power and muscle, this cuvée always seems more polished, fine and elegant to me." Jeb Dunnuck, eRobertParker.com #214
Drink from: 2014-2044
"This is loaded with bittersweet ganache, espresso, roasted fig, blackberry confiture and graphite notes, all of which manage to fall in stride together. Offers lots of briary grip, with a Black Forest cake note driving through the finish. Dark and dense, but with terrific cut. Best from 2015 through 2030. 500 cases made." Wine Spectator
Drink from: 2015-2030
"Vivid purple. Powerful, intensely perfumed aromas of black and blue fruits, potpourri and smoky Indian spices, with a bright mineral nuance adding vivacity. Offers an array of sappy dark fruit and floral flavors and suggestions of allspice, star anise and candied licorice. Finishes on a sweet note of candied lavender, with outstanding energy and focus." Josh Raynolds, Vinous.com
"NB vintage. "You need to put this in the oubliette of a château for at least 10 years'. Almost as dense and black as port. Very sumptuous nose and palate entry but then the bitterness creeps up on you and you realise there's a whole trunk full of tannins underneath all this fruit! But they are pretty well hidden." JancisRobinson.com
Drink from: 2020-2035